The Dallas-based Women Texas Film Festival returns for a fifth year to share the work of visionary women filmmakers. The festival has made the switch to an all-virtual presentation, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a three-day presentation, the festival will showcase free panels and films, with an option to donate. The festival runs from Aug. 13-16.
This year, there will a significant focus on LGBTQIA+ stories, immigration, racism, sex trafficking, religion and more by filmmakers.
Founder and artistic director of the festival Justina Walford said in a press statement that going virtual has made the curatorial process more special:
“Therefore, we are reminded at every moment of what sets our film festival apart from other film festivals and what sets film festivals (in general) apart from simply seeing a movie at a multiplex: Curating. Discovering, introducing, and presenting dynamic female filmmakers and giving them an enthusiastic platform to show their work.”
The film festival will open with Tahara by Olivia Peace and close with Gossamer Folds by Lisa Donato. The two feature films will give a spotlight to LGBTQIA+ voices.
The film follows two best friends who deal with the emotional stress of losing a classmate at their Hebrew school. “The school’s attempts to help the students understand grief through their faith immediately leads to awkward places, but after an innocent kissing exercise changes everything for one of them, the best friends find themselves distracted by the teenage complications neither of them even remotely anticipated,” the press release said.
Peace’s film is not new to audiences. It made its debut at Slamdance and then Frameline earlier this year.
Donato’s films have made many appearances at the Women Texas Film Festival. It seemed necessary to have her back again, but this time to close the show.
Set in 1986, the film follows a 10-year-old boy who unwillingly moves to the suburbs of Kansas City. His world begins to shake when his parent’s have marriage troubles. “However, he finds solace thanks to the friendship he begins to find with his next-door neighbors: a retired college professor and his transgender daughter, Gossamer,” the press release said.
Outlaw by Ksenia Ratushnaya and The Paint Wizzard, a film about a transgender painter, will also be shown.
There will be an additional 9 other feature-length films. A Whore Like Me by Sharon Yaish and Yael Shachar takes a look at sex trafficking through one woman’s journey back into the world she had escaped. Larissa Lam’s Far East Deep South talks about the subject of race and American history through Chinese immigrants in Mississippi. Never Going Back by Janette A. Lopez gives insight into immigration by focusing on a family’s journey from Honduras to the U.S.
Most films, excluding specific screening times, can be viewed at any time starting Aug. 13. at 5 p.m. until midnight Aug. 16.
Q&A’s With Directors, Writers And More
All Q&A panels have been announced. At 9 p.m. on Aug. 13, a live-stream with director Olivia Peace and screenwriter Jess Zeidman will start. The online panels will talk about everything, including comedy, horror shorts, isolation shorts, magical realism, women in politics and a legal panel discussing sexual harassment on film sets.
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